Anybody who knows me, knows that I am very strongly against gay marriage. I have no qualms about explaining why the term “gay marriage,” is an oxymoron and makes no sense whatsoever. I don’t think that gay pride parades accomplish anything at all, except to make people mad and to give the LGBT crowd a feeling of control. I don’t think that the politically correct policy of censoring anything and everything that even hints that being lesbian or gay might be harmful or immoral, is a fair policy. I don’t think that it is right that all you have to do is state that you are LGBT, and suddenly you have more rights than everyone else. And I certainly don’t think that it is appropriate to insist, for the sake of proving a point (A.K.A. making people mad), on holding a gay pride parade in the holy city of Jerusalem.
Regardless of what I think about gay rights in general, what Yishai Shlissel did to Shira Bankin (injuring five others) was wrong. To be fair, Shlissel is psycho and the government was stupid. This is a man who was jailed ten years ago for doing exactly what he did now – stabbing people who participated in the gay pride parade. He was jailed for ten years, let out, and immediately did exactly the same thing, all over again. Ideally, he shouldn’t have been let out of jail until after the parade. Stupid government; psycho guy, and I’m glad he’s back in jail. Don’t tell anyone, but I hope he’s not let out, ever again.
I have a sixteen year old sister. I teach sixteen year olds. There is no good reason, in the entire world, that a sixteen year old who is not harming anybody should be stabbed and killed. No reason at all. I don’t care what Shira believed, I don’t care what parade she took part in, I don’t care who her friends were, and I don’t care if she was in love with her boyfriend or a girlfriend.
It doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t.
Because who she wants to sleep with is her choice. It’s not harming me, it’s not harming my friends or family. It doesn’t even harm what I believe in. And so, even though I am very against recognizing gay marriage, even though I don’t think we should be helping them to live in a way that clashes with my morals and value system – as long as they are not harming anybody, they do not deserve to be harmed by anybody.
Shira, I am sorry that you were a victim of a senseless hate crime perpetrated by a psychotic extremist. I never knew you, never taught you, and yet, I do know you. You are just like every other teenage girl, and yet you are unique in your own way. I am sorry that your life and your dreams were cut short. I wish you could have finished high school, with five points in English or in math or in science; with credits in Bible or in Hebrew language studies, or in Arabic. I wish you could have spent hours debating with your friends which army unit sounded like the most fun to join, and could have gained weight from eating pizza too many times (and then complained that you needed to lose it), and applied to college and prayed that you would be accepted to the track you wanted to learn. I wish you could have taken the customary post-army trip to Europe or the Far East.
Shira, it is not fair, it is not just, and it is unacceptable. I never knew you, never wished to know you, and don’t regret not wishing to know you. I know that you were murdered, in Israel, your home; that you are my sister, my student, my distant cousin, a friend of a friend of a friend; that our home is Israel, and that violence is not our way.
I wish I could make it different, for you and your family.